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Ravens' Harbaugh goes all out in postgame news conference

Normally, coaches couldn't give a rat's you-know-what about speaking to the media after a game. But, man, oh man, John Harbaugh just couldn't wait to step up to the podium Sunday night.

After the Ravens' 23-20 road victory over the Steelers that culminated with a Joe Flacco-led touchdown drive in the final seconds, Harbaugh had plenty to say -- bloody chin and all.

On NFL Network
"NFL Replay" will re-air the second halves of the Giants' 24-20 win over the Patriots and the Ravens' 23-20 win over the Steelers on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. ET.

"Put those tape recorders up here," Harbaugh commanded reporters. "We got a big win to talk about."

Seriously, nobody thought to put a Band-Aid on him? But we digress. ...

For the next two minutes, what we experienced was an impassioned speech we swear could've inspired even JaMarcus Russell to hike Mount Everest.

"Congratulations to everybody back in Baltimore that was watching this game on TV tonight," Harbaugh said, "THAT JUMPED OFF THEIR COUCH, all right, when Joe Flacco threw that pass, and we won that game. Congratulations to you all. It's as much for you as it is for us. We're the Ravens Nation; we're the team. ...

"This Steelers-Ravens game is a game for men. This is a game for big men," Harbaugh continued. "You gotta shine bright in this game if you wanna win this game. And nobody shined brighter than Joe Flacco in this game. I couldn't be more proud of a football team. I couldn't be more proud of our men -- our players and our coaches."

Then came Flacco's moment, as Harbaugh went out of his way to sing his quarterback's praises when asked about critics who questioned the third-year pro's development.

"You know what, if people can't see it ... I know people do see it, so I'm not even gonna go there," Harbaugh said, before fiercely invoking Theodore Roosevelt.

"The people that want to write about it and want to be the naysayers, it's not the critic who counts. It's the man who's in the arena, WHOSE FACE IS COVERED WITH BLOOD AND SWEAT AND DUST! He will never be with those poor and timid souls and know neither victory nor defeat. So that's what I say to those critics. They don't count."

Some heavy stuff from Harbaugh, especially reciting the Roosevelt speech, which he apparently memorized in sixth grade. Clearly, Harbaugh was fired up about a season sweep of the rival Steelers. For a few moments there, it felt like he was on the verge of a Howard Dean-like meltdown, but he kept his composure.

Now, after seeing this, how can you not be pumped for the Thanksgiving game between the 6-2 Ravens and 7-1 49ers on NFL Network (shameless plug). Two Harbaughs across the field from each other? Meeting at midfield for a postgame handshake? Giving two separate news conferences afterward?

What's not to like?

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